Hillsborough County to start fall practices Aug. 24 while schools go all-virtual

Hillsborough County athletic director Lanness Robinson said public school programs will be allowed to begin practices for fall sports on Aug. 24, as well as participate in regular season games while public schools go all-virtual the first four weeks.

Two weeks ago, the Florida High School Athletic Association’s board of directors voted to postpone the start of practices in fall sports until Aug. 24. 

The decision gave FHSAA executive director George Tomyn and other administrators more time to work with the Sports Medical Advisory Committee and advisory boards to prepare recommendations for the start of fall sports at an in-person board of directors meeting scheduled for Aug. 14 in Gainesville that will not be available to the public via livestream. 

The results of that meeting will ultimately determine what the fall sports calendar will look like. But practices and regular contests will go on as scheduled, at least for now. 

Robinson also said Hillsborough County schools will enter phase three of summer conditioning starting Monday. 

Among the highlights:

  • All athletic facilities including locker rooms and trainer’s office can be used (limited to 15 in the locker room at a time).
  • Equipment can be used (including balls, nets, etc. but not helmets and shoulder pads).
  •  Whole group participation is allowed with workouts (Monday-Friday).
  • The use of water coolers or water cows will be allowed (Student-athletes are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and towels).
  •  Restrooms in the locker rooms can be used.

Hillsborough joins Pinellas and Hernando as the three area counties that have entered phase three of conditioning. Pasco County will likely do so within the next three weeks.